Tuesday, July 24, 2012
Gymnastics, while 100% an indoor sport, are part of this season.
After 1984, when Mary Lou Retton did so well with her stocky (it could be argued) yet very toned and in-tune self, somehow her 2-record 33 set of exercises for kids became a part of my life. It came with a full-color booklet of her demonstrating the moves. This was before our household or most had VHS/Betamax.
The songs were good, actually, and she can even sing.
At this point, in terms of details, I only remember the tune and a few moves to "Crouch Like a Tiger." The rest of routines are lost to me. I don't know what happened to the record, but I regret not having it around now for fun.
Fitness, likewise, was lost.
Even though my brother and I dutifully went through more than 90 minutes'-worth of quick movement and slow stretches, I didn't see much improvement. This makes Ms. Retton's accomplishments, along with any other Olympic-level athlete's remarkable. Think of how much harder I need(ed) to work.
In the basement, we even danced around to Jesus Christ Superstar (four album set) and a probably free Stag-beer-sponsored album that had only one song, the first, that we ever listened to. (It had a man screaming after a few bars, "Ma-ma, mama, ma-ma, mama, ma-ma!")
We also giggled at the cover artwork, concept (not having seen the movies), and the silly drama of the score from "Thunderball." The songs went well with the 1960s National Parks series View Master reels, I can see in hindsight.
Because his music has a dancable beat and his lyrics are narrative, Kenny Rogers' songs gave us a good amount of fun calorie-burning, too.
I can't say I agree with, though I do support in theory, things like Michelle Obama's get up and move [sic] initiatives. As with Nancy Reagan's pet-project, I think that top-down change is mostly ineffective.
My gradeschool and even highschool days were loaded with gym classes of a bygone era.
When I was only 13, I could barely finish, much less do well at, running a mile. Our eighth-grade class had trained and trained and trained. Once, I did really well in a 100-yard dash. I always could climb the rope. Was not terrible at table tennis or badmitton. I always was on the B-team of any organized sport, even though I would go out on nights as hot as this, bored in the summer in a small town, car-less, and play basketball by myself at the high school.
Never, ever, could I do the splits.
Life-long skills: I don't know where they come from. I had plenty of remote role models, through the media. I have a surplus to this day. What I don't have is someone to enforce it in the flesh. I certainly lack willpower (obviously). I guess I need three or four dogs to make me get outside all the time and move.
The fact that "if you sit for eight hours a day, you might as well kill yourself now, even if you excercise" hasn't helped matters in terms of motivating me : )
at 9:46 PM